The correlation between health in early childhood and a number of later outcomes is well established. Before joining the Head Start community, I spent many years in K-12 education. The importance of health and its impact on outcomes is no less important in that world.

So, we’re grateful to School Specialty for the investment they’ve made to support you in creating healthy and safe environments. They have produced four professional development webinars focused on different aspects of early childhood learning environments:

  1. Social and emotional development
  2. Inclusive environments for children with special needs
  3. Recognizing potential violence in mental health concerns
  4. Safety and security best practices

 

My commitment to healthy and safe children is a personal one. I learned it before my son Nick was born. An extraordinarily perceptive medical technician conducting a level-2 ultrasound in fall 1999 informed the doctor that she believed my son — less than three months along — did not have a spleen. She was right.

So, we learned a lot very fast about what the spleen does, and spent many years being extremely cautious about his environment. We washed our hands relentlessly. We were vigilant about how long food sat out (I still am), and at all costs, avoided fast food plastic playground tunnels. And even then, he missed a lot of school.

The health and safety of our youngest and most vulnerable children has always been a foundational principle of Early Head Start and Head Start. Head Start began as a poverty intervention program initially conceived by health professionals.

Head Start California is lucky to have corporate partners who believe in Head Start and share our concern for the health and safety our youngest children. School Specialty’s online courses are provided by subject matter experts. They can be purchased individually or collectively with discounted rates available for our members and are fully in-kind reimbursable. We hope this provides a convenient way for all staff to learn about the health and safety of the environments we offer our children and families.

So…
Get the popcorn.
Get online.
And don’t forget to wash your hands.

Christopher Maricle
Executive Director
Head Start California